Tax tips for first-time filers

INDIANA – Filing your individual income taxes for the first time can be stressful. If you’re wondering where to start, DOR has some tips to make filing your taxes easier!

  • Organize your paperwork – By now, you should have received the documents (i.e., W-2s, 1099s, etc.) you’ll need to file your taxes from your employer. If you pay student loans, you may have received a 1098-E form, which reports the interest paid on student loans throughout the taxable year. If you are self-employed, be sure you have all the documents you need to file correctly.
  • Don’t lose track of time – Taxpayers have until April 18, 2022, to file their individual income taxes. Time flies, so try to avoid putting it off until the last minute. However, be sure to take your time as you file. If you rush through the process, it’s easier to make a mistake on your paperwork.
  • Decide how you want to file – You can fill out your tax return by yourself, work with a paid preparer, or file electronically. Decide which option is best for you. Filling out the return by yourself on paper is free, but you may miss out on credits and deductions you’re not aware of. If you have a complicated return, paid preparers may pick up on a deduction you were not aware you could take. Additionally, filing electronically may reduce the amount of potential mistakes and speed up the return filing process.
  • You may be able to file for FREE – You may qualify to file your federal and state taxes online for free using Indiana free file (INfreefile). To find out more information, visit
  • Paying your state taxes online – If you owe additional state income tax, you can now use INTIME (Indiana Taxpayer Information Management Engine), DOR’s e-services portal at, to make a secure payment online by selecting the “Make a Payment” link on the INTIME homepage. You do not need to create a logon. INTIME accepts electronic bank payments (ACH/e-check) and Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card payments. There is no fee for electronic bank payments, although credit and debit cards have applicable fees.
  • Other methods of making a payment electronically – You may have the option to pay your state taxes through your tax software or online tax preparation service. Some tax professionals may also offer payment services. It is still your responsibility to ensure your correct payment amount arrives on time.
  • Paying your taxes by mail or in person – If including payment of taxes owed when mailing your Indiana income tax return, print your SSN and tax year on the check or money order. You can also pay in person at one of our district offices where cash (exact change only), personal checks, cashier’s checks and money orders are accepted. Visit DOR’s district offices webpage for a complete list of locations.

If this is your first time filing a tax return, don’t let the stress take over. Be sure to plan ahead and know that help is out there.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on our Individual Income Tax webpage.

The most efficient way to contact DOR Customer Service is by creating a logon for INTIME and using the e-services portal’s secure messaging to submit your inquiry. You can still contact DOR by phone at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., but be prepared for longer than normal wait times. You can also make an appointment for in-person service at any of DOR’s 12 district offices at